9th AF Patch

416th Bombardment Group (L)

Lt Col. Walter Woodrow Farmer

Pilot,  O-021749

Killed In Action - Aug 6, 1944

416th Bombardment Group HQ


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      Born: 01-Jan-1916, Dubach, Lincoln Parish, Louisiana

Entered Military Service: Date: 1-Jul-1935 At: USMA From: Uvalde County, Texas

Buried: Normandy American Cemetery, Colleville-sur-Mer, France, Plot A Row 15 Grave 31

On-line Memorials:
National World War II Registry     Overseas American Cemeteries
American Battle Monuments Commission Memorial, Certificate

Walter Woodrow Farmer
USMA West Point graduate No. 11346
Class of 1939
Died 6 August 1944 in Drucourt, France (KIA).
Aged 28 years.
Interment: Normandy American Cemetery. St Laurent-sur-Mer, France

Walter Woodrow Farmer was born in Dubach, Louisiana on 1 January 1916. His parents were Walter E. and Bertha W. Farmer of Ruston, Louisiana.
Walt attended Ruston High School, Ruston, Louisiana and graduated in 1933. From 1933 to 1935, Walt attended Louisiana Polytechnic Institute which was located in Ruston.
Walt was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy from the 7th District, Arkansas by Rep. Tilman B. Parks. IN early 1935 he passed the entrance examination and entered in June.
Walt was an outstanding cadet at West Point. He graduated number 12 in the Class of 1939 (out of 456) and was a cadet lieutenant in B Company. He was a "star man" during his second and first class years. His athletic record included gymnastics in 1936, lacrosse in 1936 and 1937, wrestling in 1938 and 1939, and pentathlon in 1939. He won an "A" in wrestling in 1938 and 1939, and he was Corps Champ in the 175 pound class in 1938. Walt's other activities included Ring Committee, Camera Club, and Officer, First Class Club.
In the summer of 1939, soon after graduation from West Point, Walt married Marjorie Futrell of Ruston, Louisiana. The wedding took place in Ruston. A son, William, was born in 1942.
When Walt graduated he was commissioned in the Corps of Engineers, but he requested flying training in the Air Corps. He attended Primary Flying School at Dallas, Texas from September to December 1939, and Basic and Advanced Flying Schools at Randolph and Kelly Fields, San Antonio, Texas from January to June 1940. With his West Point classmates he was in flying school class 40-C.

After graduation from Advanced Flying School, Walt was assigned as an instructor with the Training Command. Over the next three years he was assigned to a number of training airfields, including Randolph Field and the airfields at Uvalde and Lubbock, Texas. He was the commanding officer at Uvalde. In mid-1943, he went to Mather Field, California for transition to twin-engine bombers and then was assigned to the 416th Bomb Group, which was based at Lake Charles, Louisiana, and later at Laurel, Mississippi. In February 1944, Walt went with the 416th to Wethersfield Air Base in the U.K. for combat duty in the Ninth Air Force.

In the U.K., Walt was Group Operations Officer of the 416th. He flew combat missions in A-20 aircraft, with which the group was equipped, and was awarded four Air Medals. Many of his missions were in support of the Normandy landings. On a bombing mission to Drucourt, France, on 6 August 1944, Walt's aircraft was shot down by enemy anti-aircraft fire. His bombardier and navigator were able to bail out, but Walt was unable to get out of the aircraft and was killed. His rank at that time was lieutenant colonel. he was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart. Walt is interred at the Normandy American Cemetery, St. Laurent-Sur-Mer, France.

Walt's untimely death ended a most promising career. His academic and athletic achievements as a cadet at West Point, his demonstrated leadership qualities, his love of flying, and his dedication to the Air Corps would surely have made him a successful officer in the post-war Air Force.

Major General Joseph L. Dickman (USAF, Retired). Classmate (author of the obituary)

A/C Last Sighted. Lost as a result of Enemy Anti-Aircraft. Hit by flak over target area. Requested heading to emergency landing strips. Received same. Last seen in vicinity of Lisieux, Fr., flying on heading of 270 deg.

Missing in Action: Lt. Col. W.W. Farmer, Sgt. J.E. Hay, Sgt. J.A. Buskirk--Last seen heading away from the target toward our lines, plane smoking.
(416th BG History 1944)

See also MACR 7850 and Mission # 116

Photos and Documents
1920 US Census
1930 US Census
1940 US Census
USMA Yearbook
USMA Portrait
US Army Register 1942
The Times (Shreveport, Louisiana) 11 May 1944, Thu Page 16
The Times (Shreveport, Louisiana) 04 Oct 1944, Wed Page 3
Headstone Inscription and Interment Record
(Courtesy of George and Roz Barber)
Rosters Of WW II Dead
WW II Army and Army Air Force Casualty List
National World War II Memorial Registry
National World War II Memorial Registry
American Battle Monuments Commission Certificate

Source information can be viewed at WWII Military Service Fatalities Sources